And now you know the rest of the story on Braden Preus

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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Braden Preus of Bayshore Christian School was the winning pitcher against Pike Liberal Arts in game three of the third round of the 2A state playoffs last Friday. It was the senior pitcher’s first ever complete game of his high school career. He didn’t give up an earned run.

So, what’s the big deal you might be saying. And why are we reading about a Bayshore kid that lives two hours south of here? Stay with me, it gets better.

In game two that was played on Thursday, Braden was brought in after Pike hitters couldn’t do anything against Bayshore’s first two pitchers. When Braden’s number was called in game two, to close it out and move forward in the playoffs, it was not pretty for the senior pitcher.

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With his team leading, Braden quickly walked a couple of batters and was swiftly pulled from the game. Bayshore brought in a few more pitchers that also seemed rattled by Pike’s loud student section. It appeared Braden and the rest of Bayshore’s bullpen couldn’t handle the pressure. Pike went on to win game two, forcing game three the following day.

Win, you march on. Lose, you go home.

Braden Preus was Bayshore’s starter for the third and deciding game. Pike’s student section was again incredibly loud. Electric almost. You could sense that Braden was feeling the pressure of the moment. He walked a few batters. I remember sitting there thinking their coaches are about to pull this kid in the first inning. He looked anxious. He gave up three unearned runs before finally getting out of the inning.

Then something happened in the second inning. You could start to see him beginning to lock in. He didn’t look rattled anymore. He looked confident. He then proceeded to pitch six consecutive scoreless innings.

In the last inning I watched as he stood on the mound, close his eyes and bow his head for about five seconds. I saw him take a deep breath and then he pitched a three up and three down quick inning to complete his first ever high school complete game win.

Again, what’s the big deal, you might say. Kids pitch complete game wins all the time. Why is Braden Preus’ complete game so special?

Well you see, Braden has not been able to pitch throughout most of his high school career because he has been battling cancer. It was a serious and painful battle too. But he won that battle, just like he did in a baseball game last Friday here in Troy, AL.

When reached today by phone, Braden’s father Christian Preus, commented on his son’s reaction immediately after the game, “I think you could tell on his face – with the tears in his eyes and he collapsed on one of his teammates – you could see the emotion of the years of frustration and expectations coming out. You could see a kid who has had all the tools but never really had the opportunity to showcase what he could do because he’s been held back through injuries and illnesses on top of having to battle cancer.”

Remember how I described what I witnessed as he came to the mound in the seventh inning to try and seal the complete game? He closed his eyes and bowed his head for about five seconds, he then let out a deep breath and in quick order got the last three outs of the game. Who was he talking to when he bowed his head I wonder?

I think the picture that accompanies this story answers that question.